The hospitality industry has heavily felt the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, but that hasn’t stopped the people from those industries from reaching out a helping hand.
For the past few weeks, many foundations and collaborations have been formed to help give back to the hospitality industry.
Recently, two local breweries have teamed up with Southern Smoke Foundation, a charity founded in 2015 by renowned chef Chris Shepherd, owner and chef of Underbelly, to raise funds to support and assist hospitality workers. The foundation has donated more than $2 million to industry professionals in need.
Urban South Brewery’s first venture outside of Louisiana, Urban South Brewery HTX, 1201 Oliver St., was quick to get involved with the “All Together” project that utilizes the craft beer industry. The project, spearheaded by Brooklyn-based Other Half Brewing Company, asks participating breweries to donate a portion of proceeds from sales of an “All Together” beer to support hospitality professionals.
“All of us in the craft beer industry are feeling the impact of COVID-19, and we jumped at the chance to contribute to both our local hospitality community and the industry that we love so much,” said Dave Olmer, general manager and brewer at Urban South HTX.
The “All Together” beer base recipe the project invites collaborating breweries to make is provided by Other Half Brewing. Breweries can then add their own twist to the “All Together” beer. Artwork and name for the beer will be provided free of charge to in order for breweries to produce the beer at the lowest possible cost.
“We made slight changes to the hops based on what we had on hand, using a blend of our hand-selected Citra, Mosaic and Centennial hops,” Olmer said.
Urban South’s “All Together” beer is now available for pickup from noon–7 p.m. daily.
“We have decided to donate a portion of proceeds from ‘All Together’ beer sales to Southern Smoke Foundation here in Texas to support food and beverage industry workers in crisis,” Olmer said.
Karbach Brewing Co., 2032 Karbach St., also is supporting the foundation.
Currently, for every case equivalent of Love Street purchased to-go at restaurants across Texas, Karbach will donate $1 to the Southern Smoke Foundation.
“Our industry is there for our communities in times of joy and in times of crisis,” Shepherd said in a news release. “I can’t thank Karbach enough for stepping up to take care of our industry when we’re in crisis. Southern Smoke is a safety net for everyone involved in the food and beverage industry – cooks, servers, distillers, wine makers, dishwashers, brewers, delivery drivers – and support from companies like Karbach provides us the funds to support everyone who needs it.”
Later this year, Karbach also will release a new pilsner brewed in collaboration with Shepherd and pitmaster Aaron Franklin, with a portion of the proceeds going toward the foundation.